The Modern Country Life: Spokane, Washington as Your New Home
One of the hottest commercial and social trends to define the latter half of this decade has been an obsession with the country life. A country life is a celebration of the simple things, and an appreciation of the subtle complexities of the day-in, day-out; it is an embrace of family, home, and the natural world–or perhaps you just look great in boots and plaid.
The country life is attractive because it is often depicted as one giant hayride through a pumpkin patch while taking satisfying sips of cider on a late weekend afternoon. But what truly makes the country life so appealing is its promise of stability, relaxation, and comfort.
The explosion of this modern country life is being mimicked all over the country. But it is truly defined and given life only in a special kind of place–a special community with roots that run as deep as they do in country songs and like-minded individuals who actively cultivate and promote such a laid-back, fun-filled lifestyle.
Spokane, Washington is the paragon of this modern movement. A place where the people work hard and play hard, the Lilac City is like a backyard with a big garden: It has room and opportunity for those who do the daily grind, an intimate sense of neighborhood with also space for privacy and seclusion, and a priority to promote and cultivate family life. It has a vibrant downtown scene predicated on live music and the arts, and it is surrounded by towering mountains, alpine lakes and rivers, and old forests with tall trees. Although Spokane is a city, it still emanates the comfort of a small town.
In anticipation of the upcoming Christmas season, Spokane’s Riverfront Park–considered one of the most scenic urban parks in the nation–is slated to debut its brand new Ice Ribbon this December. Designed to emulate the rolling hills that comprise much of the Inland Empire, this rink has taken traditional winter ice-skating and given it a beautiful makeover. Perfect for families and friends, the experienced and the novice skater, you can be sure this 700 foot long, 16 feet wide downtown attraction will steal the spotlight this holiday.
Spokane’s proximity to several mountains and lakes helps lend to its identity as the hellenic bridge between the urban and rural; it is truly the majestic outdoor natural presence that sets it apart from the major metropolitan areas of the country. A quick forty-minute drive from downtown, the 14,000-acre Mt Spokane State Park gives opportunity to the active snow enthusiast community that is prevalent in the Pacific Northwest. Check out the discount rates they have for families, college students, and night skiers.
Looking ahead to spring, events are constantly going on that bring together neighbors, coworkers, and friends. Every March, the Subaru-driving, scarf-toting folks of Spokane gather together to enjoy the coming of Spring with a celebration of wellness, tradition, and the outdoors with the Bloomsday run. A brisk 7.4-mile trek accepts enthusiasts of all calibers and ages, featuring children in strollers up to men with white beards and a last spring in their step. Spokane makes it a conscious mission to bring people together–in love and hearth–while maintaining its focus on the surrounding natural environment as part of its core city identity.
In a place that cycles through a true four-seasons, Spokane offers an endless and diverse array of both seasonal and year-round activities. With a golf scene that boasts over 25 courses in and around town, you can be sure that this place will satisfy the outdoor, country itch we all crave.
The sense of community is strong here, which is fantastic since Spokane is a relatively young city. The massive blend of doctors, lawyers, and business owners is peppered with young adults and students–most of whom love to go out for a laid-back night to their favorite bars, like Zola, to support local musicians and artists every night of the week. Best of all, the opportunity in Spokane is unlike any it’s had before. The small business market is thriving with shops and restaurants comprised of eclectic tastes and surprising uniqueness. New neighborhoods and the resurgence of parts of town with longer histories provide pockets where business ranging from Lucky Vintage to Boutique Bleu paint the town like a mosaic of creative and innovative talent. The economy of Spokane continues to grow like a sunflower in early summer and currently sits on the Forbes Top 100 Best Places for Businesses and Careers.
If you are one who seeks the country life, or recites the Tolkien axiom “All those who wander are not lost,” before bed every night, rest easy knowing there’s a place for you in Spokane; the perfect blend of small-town homeliness and a growing urban playground–all for a 12% below the national average cost of living.